Former Steinhoff CFO Ben la Grange in happier times at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Image Supplied
CAPE TOWN - Ben la Grange, the former chief financial officer of Steinhoff, will have to face "a firing line" on Wednesday. 

The former executive will be presenting evidence before a joint sitting of four Parliamentary committees, according to South Africa’s parliamentary communication services.

It should be noted that his boss, disgraced former chief executive Markus Jooste, will not join la Grange today but will face parliament next week on September 5. 

This was after Jooste was given a one week reprieve to appear and testify under oath before four parliamentary committees following an agreement reached between government and his lawyers' in court.

“The applicant (Jooste) will appear, as the only witness to testify on the day… to give evidence under oath and to be questioned to assist the committees to identify any institutional flaws and challenges existing in the financial regulatory framework or any implementation challenges in the financial regulatory framework which might have caused or given rise to the collapse of the value of Steinhoff shares,” the order states.

Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste. (File Image: IOL).
Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste. (File Image: IOL).


Since December 2017, Steinhoff's share price has deep dived drastically and has fallen by 95 percent. This was after Jooste resigned and auditors discovered major irregularities in Steinhoff's books. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers is still investigating Steinhoff as part of an intense forensic audit. 

At 8:30am Steinhoff's share price was trading at R2.20. 

La Grange will face the committee at 10:00 and will be there for most of the day. Proceedings will conclude by 16:00, according to Parliament. 

The former CFO left Steinhoff in January this year and said he would try to help sort out or finalise the company's financial statements, but Bloomberg reported last week that la Grange was suspended from this agreement.

La Grange is a chartered accountant by trade and held a number of titles within the Steinhoff group. He was at one point serving as the chief executive of Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star) in 2017. He was paid R50 million for that position, according to Biz News. 

He later moved to the role of CFO for Star's parent group Steinhoff. 

Parliament has stated that the inquiry is "not a criminal investigation establishing criminal liability, nor is it a civil inquiry establishing civil liability of Steinhoff or its employees".

- BUSINESS REPORT